alternate email: fernand.gobet
Please contact me if you are interested in doing a PhD in my current domains of research, including:
Economic and Social Research Council (2012-2015). Developing a psychologically realistic generalisation mechanism within MOSAIC. With Julian Pine and Daniel Freudenthal. (£397,867).
Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2012). Risk, trust and
relationships in an ageing society. With
British Academy (2010-2012). Cognitive models of problem gambling: Testing the implicit-learning hypothesis. (£83,447)
Economic and Social Research Council (2009-2012). Modelling the (expert) mind. (£385,024).
Economic and Social Research Council (2008-2011). Modelling the cross-linguistic pattern of verb-marking and utterance-internal omission errors in MOSAIC using syllabified input. With Julian Pine and Daniel Freudenthal. (£389,874).
The Leverhulme Trust (2008-2010). Title: Investigating the cognitive deficits that underlie specific language impairment. With Gary Jones and Julian Pine. (£101,053)
Economic and Social Research Council. PhD Studentship for Mazda Beigi (2007-2011). With Andrew Parton. (£45,000)
Brunel University. Complexity PhD Studentship (2007-2010). With Mark Atherton and Hamed Al-Raweshidy. (£54,505)
European Union: Explaining Religion (2007-2010) With Harvey Whitehouse and others. (£1,386,690)
Ph. D. in Psychology, 1992
2003-present. Professor of
2000-2003. Allan Standen Reader in Intelligent Systems. ESRC Centre for Research in
Development, Instruction and Training,
1998-2000. Senior Research
Fellow / Lecturer. ESRC Centre for Research in Development, Instruction and
Training, Department of Psychology,
1996-98. Research Fellow /
Lecturer. ESRC Centre for Research in Development, Instruction and Training,
Department of Psychology,
1990-91. Visiting Researcher,
1987-89. Research assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Fribourg (Switz.)
1981-89. Co-editor of the Swiss Chess Review.
My research spans cognitive science, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence, education, and philosophy. It is centred around the development of the CHREST (Chunks Hierarchies and REtrieval STructures) architecture. CHREST has been applied to chess expertise, concept formation, the acquisition of multiple diagrammatic representations, and the acquisition of syntax and of vocabulary. I’m also interested in the methodology of developing computational models.
I'm trying to understand the mechanisms underlying the acquisition of expertise, with a special focus on learning, memory, perception and attention processes in skilled individuals. This interest in understanding expertise has also led me to research individual differences and teaching and training methods in education.
My research uses experimental investigations, computer simulations, and theoretical investigations.
This project of studying
expertise under its various aspects has been carried out in collaboration with
the late Herbert Simon (
Gobet, F. (2011). Psychologie du talent et de l’expertise. Paris: De Boeck.
Gobet, F., de Voogt, A., & Retschitzki, J. (2004). Moves in mind: The psychology of board games. Hove, UK: Psychology Press.
de Groot, A. & Gobet, F. (1996). Perception and memory in chess. Heuristics of the professional eye. Assen: Van Gorcum. Contents Chapter 9; A discussion: Two authors, two different views?
Gobet, F. (in press). Expertise vs. talent. Talent Development and Excellence. pdf
Campitelli, G. & Gobet, F. (2011). Deliberate practice: Necessary but not sufficient. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 280-285. pdf
Chassy, P. & Gobet, F. (2011). A hypothesis about the biological basis of expert intuition. Review of General Psychology, 15, 198-212. pdf
Chassy, P. & Gobet, F. (2010). Speed of expertise acquisition depends upon inherited factors. Talent Development and Excellence, 2, 17-27. pdf
Campitelli, G. & Gobet, F. (2010). Herbert Simon’s decision-making approach: Investigation of cognitive processes in experts. Review of General Psychology, 14, 354-364. pdf
Gobet. F. & Chassy, P. (2009). Expertise and intuition: A tale of three theories. Minds and Machines, 19, 151-180. Preprint
Bilalić, M., McLeod, P., & Gobet, F. (2008). Inflexibility of experts – Reality or myth? Quantifying the Einstellung effect in chess masters. Cognitive Psychology, 56, 73-102. Preprint
Didierjean, A. & Gobet, F. (2008). Sherlock Holmes – An expert’s view of expertise. British Journal of Psychology, 99, 109-125. Preprint
Gobet. F. & Chassy, P. (2008). Towards an alternative to Benner’s theory of expert intuition in nursing: A discussion paper. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 45, 129-139. Preprint
Gobet. F. & Campitelli, G. (2007). The role of domain-specific practice, handedness and starting age in chess. Developmental Psychology, 43, 159-172. Preprint
Gobet, F., & Waters, A. J. (2003). The role of constraints in expert memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 29, 1082–1094. Preprint
Gobet, F. & Simon, H. A. (1996). Templates in Chess Memory: A Mechanism for Recalling Several Boards. Cognitive Psychology, 31, 1-40. Abstract
Gobet, F. & Simon, H. A. (1996). The Roles of recognition processes and look-ahead search in time-constrained expert problem solving: Evidence from grandmaster level chess. Psychological Science, 7, 52-55. Abstract Preprint
I believe that many theories in psychology are not expressed rigorously enough, which means that they are not testable. The best way to avoid this problem is to express theories as mathematical or computational models, and I have used the latter extensively in my research. In addition to models of expert behaviour (see above) and acquisition of language (see below), I have also developed models of concept formation, knowledge representation in law, development and ageing. In particular with Peter Lane, I have also developed new methods for developing computer modelling. Most of my modelling works uses the CHREST (Chunk Hierarchy and REtrieval STructures) cognitive architecture, which I originally developed with Herbert Simon and now am extending with Peter Lane. CHREST started as a model of chess expertise, but has now been applied to a number of domains from language acquisition to diagrammatic reasoning. In a different line of research, I have also used evolutionary computation for automatically developing computational theories.
Lane, P.C.R., & Gobet, F. (in press). A theory-driven testing methodology for developing scientific software. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence. pdf
Lane, P. C. R., & Gobet, F. (2007). Developing and evaluating cognitive architectures with behavioural tests. AAAI workshop on Evaluating Architectures for Intelligence. pdf
Frias-Martinez , E., & Gobet, F. (2007). Automatic generation of cognitive theories using genetic programming. Minds & Machines, 17, 287-309. pdf
Gobet, F., & Parker, A. (2005). Evolving structure-function mappings in cognitive neuroscience using genetic programming. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 64, 231-239. Preprint
Lane, P. C. R., & Gobet, F. (2003). Developing reproducible and comprehensible computational models. Artificial Intelligence, 144 , 251-263. Preprint
Ritter, F. E., Shadbolt, N. R., Elliman, D., Young, R., Gobet, F., & Baxter, G. D. (2003). Techniques for modeling human performance in synthetic environments: A supplementary review. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH: Human Systems Information Analysis Center.
Gobet, F., & Ritter, F. E. (2000). Individual data analysis and Unified Theories of Cognition: A methodological proposal. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Cognitive Modelling, pp. 150-157. Veenendaal, The Netherlands: Universal Press. Abstract html
Gobet, F., & Lane, P. C. R. (2010). The CHREST architecture of cognition: The role of perception in general intelligence. In Baum, E., Hutter, M., & Kitzelmann, E. (Eds), Proceedings of the Third Conference on Artificial General Intelligence (pp. 7-12). Amsterdam: Atlantis Press. pdf
Gobet, F. & Lane, P. (2005). The
CHREST architecture of cognition: Listening to empirical data. In D. Davis
(Ed.), Visions of mind: Architectures for cognition and affect. (pp. 204-224).
Hershey, PA: Information Science Publishing
Gobet, F. (2001). Réseaux de discrimination en psychologie: L'exemple de CHREST. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 60, 264-277. Preprint
Gobet, F. (1996). Discrimination nets, production systems and semantic networks: Elements of a unified framework. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on the Learning Sciences. (pp. 398-403). Evanston Il: Northwestern University. Abstract html
This research represents an attempt to model the child's acquisition of syntactic categories. The aim of the project is to build a distributional learning mechanism that is not only capable of constructing grammatical categories, but also of doing so in a way that is consistent with recent findings in the developmental literature on the sequencing of grammatical category acquisition. In addition, this project aims at studying extensions of Simon and Feigenbaum's EPAM model, such as production system and semantic network capacities, and at applying this framework to the study of cognitive development.
Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M., & Gobet, F. (2010). Explaining quantitative variation in the rate of Optional Infinitive errors across languages: A comparison of MOSAIC and the Variational Learning Model. Journal of Child Language, 37, 643-669. pdf
Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M., & Gobet, F. (2009). Simulating the referential properties of Dutch, German and English Root Infinitives in MOSAIC. Language Learning and Development, 5, 1-29. Preprint
Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M., Javier Aguado-Orea, & Gobet, F. (2007). Modelling the developmental patterning of finiteness marking in English, Dutch, German and Spanish using MOSAIC. Cognitive Science, 31, 311-341. Preprint
Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M., & Gobet, F. (2007). Understanding the developmental dynamics of subject omission: The role of processing limitations in learning. Journal of Child Language, 34, 83-110. Preprint
D., Pine, J. M., & Gobet, F. (2005).
Modelling the development of
children's use of optional infinitives in English and Dutch using MOSAIC.
Science, 30, 277-310.
Gobet, F., & Pine, J. (1997). Modeling the acquisition of syntactic categories. Proceedings of the 19th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Mawah, NJ: Erlbaum.
This research represents an attempt to model vocabulary acquisition in children. A computational model, based on Feigenbaum and Simon's EPAM theory of perception and learning, is being developed. The intention is to model both how new words are acquired and the relative distributions of categories of words acquired. In collaboration with Gary Jones and Julian Pine.
Tamburelli, M., Jones, G., Gobet, F., & Pine, J. M. (in press). Computational modelling of phonological acquisition: Simulating error patterns in nonword repetition tasks. Language and Cognitive Processes. pdf
Jones, G., Tamburelli, M., Watson, S. E., Gobet, F., & Pine, J. M. (2010). Lexicality and frequency in Specific Language Impairment: Accuracy and error data from two non-word repetition tests. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53, 1642-1655. pdf
Jones, G., Gobet, F., & Pine, J. M. (2008). Computer simulations of developmental change: The contributions of working memory capacity and long-term knowledge. Cognitive Science, 32, 1148-1176. Preprint
Jones, G., Gobet, F., & Pine, J. M. (2007). Linking working memory and long-term memory: A computational model of the learning of new words. Developmental Science,10, 853-873. Preprint
In collaboration with Peter Cheng and Peter Lane. This project aims to build a computational model of learning to solve problems with diagrams, and has three main goals:
· Lane, P. C. R., Cheng, P. C-H. & Gobet, F. (1999). Learning perceptual schemas to avoid the utility problem. Proceedings of the Nineteenth SGES International Conference on Knowledge Based Systems and Applied Artificial Intelligence. Cambridge, UK. Abstract
As a natural consequence of my interests in expertise and learning, I have also carried out research in education. Earlier in my career, I carried out investigations on programming in Logo, and later have also done some work on reading (in particular on reading in Thai). More recently, I have been interested in education and training in chess, and also in showing what chunking mechanisms can tell us about instruction methods.
· Gobet, F. (2005). Chunking models of expertise: Implications for education. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19, 183–204. Preprint
A somewhat different approach to the study of expertise has been to look at individual differences, mostly differences in intelligence and personality. Recently, with Philippe Chassy, we have identified the rather curious phenomenon that chess expertise shows a seasonality effect: on average, chess players tend to be born more often in late winter and early spring than non-chessplayers.
Bilalić, M., Smallbone, K., McLeod, P., & Gobet, F. (2009). Why are (the best) women so good at chess? Participation rates and gender differences in intellectual domains. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 276, 1161-1165. Preprint
Bilalić, M., McLeod, P., & Gobet, F. (2007). Does chess need intelligence? A study with young chess players. Intelligence, 35, 457-470. Preprint
Gobet. F. & Chassy, P. (2008). Season of birth and chess expertise. Journal of Biosocial Science, 40, 313-316. Preprint
Gobet, F., Campitelli. G., & Waters, A. J. (2002). Rise of human intelligence: Comments on Howard (1999). Intelligence, 30, 303-311. Preprint
Waters, A., Gobet, F., & Leyden, G. (2002). Visuo-spatial abilities in chess players. British Journal of Psychology, 30, 303-311. Preprint
Last modified: 21/08/2012